It has been a pretty long day. All of us have been awake from 8am and in and out of sessions and workspaces all day. A Q&A debate saw the moderator hogging the microphone and asking all the questions, letting the 25 minute time limit run out and thus leaving room for only a handful of questions! Luckily we got to ask him about steps needed to be taken to secure Palestinian issue. Fayyad’s answer pivoted to calling on “militias” to dismantle as a prerequisite, and involved a lot of ambiguity. The highlight has been the BBC World debate that took place where 9 of us were asked to participate alongside 3 Israelis, facing off with Tony Blair, Ehud Barak, Salam Fayyad, and Gamal Mubarak. It was incredibly boiling under the spotlights for over an hour and out-of-this-world uncomfortable seating. To say nothing of the speakers. While the debate was intended to focus on regional issues it inevitably and quickly centered on the Palestinian issue. Maher, a Palestinian American, Omar, a Nablus resident, and myself dealt with the issue specifically alongside our Israeli peers, while our other peers focused on their own country’s issues, apathy, frustrations, with economic development being central to the entire debate. It was not a heated debate however had we been able to engage more, it might have been. However, I was satisfied to see that the leaders on the panel were put in the hot seat on more than one occasion by us, arousing spontaneous applause from the audience in the process.
Luckily the day ended with an invitation to an Egyptian “soirÃ©e”, which basically consisted of a lot of food, a lot of people, a lot of Tamer Hossni live, and a lot of Egyptian tax payer money!
Live blogging on 7iber continues!